Did you know that many foot problems start with your shoes? It's not surprising when you consider that our feet have to bear all of our weight and our shoes have to fit just right to support us.

Here are 5 clues to help you determine whether you need to give your shoes the boot:

Toenail Bruising
Certainly wearing shoes that are too short can cause this problem, but it's also possible that your shoes don't fit well in other ways. For example, if you purchased a pair of hiking boots and you notice bruises on your big toes after a long hike.

Very likely these bruises occurred as you were hiking down and your toes hit the top of your shoes. Size is not the only thing to look for in a boot; correct width in the heel and other places has to be just right or your feet will slide forward. To get a boot that fits I recommend REI.

Pain Across the Top Of Your Foot
You've tried clogs several times but they kill the top of your feet. Very likely you have a high arched foot that won't accommodate your shoe choice. Choose shoes with a flexible midsole and avoid shoes that have straps that hit in the wrong place or won't span the top of your foot. Look for shoes that cover your foot lower down toward your toes. For suggestions see Barking Dog Shoes.

Blisters occur due to a combination of poor fit, friction, and moisture. Often shoes that do not keep your heel in place but rise up will put you at risk for blisters. Often this occurs in people who have a narrow heel who have a hard time finding a shoe that will stay in place. It's important to go to a store such as Nordstrom that specialize in fitting all types of feet. If you're active, wearing socks that can wick away moisture will also help in preventing blisters.

Toe Pain
Your toes should never hit the top of your shoes. Now you probably bought your shoes when they fit just fine. You tried them on, walked around in them, and then had the sales person press down on the front to make sure you had plenty of room.

But since then perhaps you had a baby or you've gained weight. It's not uncommon to have your shoe size go up as a result of these changes. Getting rid of that toe pain can be as simple as buying a pair of shoes that fit correctly.

Heel pain
Heel pain and other types of foot pain can occur when you're not getting proper support from your shoes, particularly if you're a runner. The rule is to buy a new pair of running shoes every 500 miles. For the average person that's one a year. But if you run 30 miles a week you're going to need to replace them more often to keep them working for you.

For more information visit my blog "7 Shoe Shopping Tips For Women". And guys, most of these tips are good for your too!

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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